Do you get a bit overwhelmed when you go shopping for dog shampoo? If yes, you’re not alone. The pet shampoo market is huge and they all state they have the best shampoo. So how is one to know what shampoo to buy? The most expensive are not always the best and the cheapest are not always the worst. Before you purchase a shampoo for your dog you need to know his/her needs. In this article, I will help you choose the best shampoo for your dog.
It’s the ingredients that count not the brand name. Even thou we have come to trust some brands more than others you still need to read the ingredients. It is a fact that natural ingredients are better for your dog and you should always avoid shampoos made with artificial dyes, fragrances, and harsh chemicals. Don’t get fooled by labels that say “all-natural” because they may still contain harmful ingredients. You want to look for Certified Organic Dog Shampoo, these are 100% safe for your dog. Always read and follow the directions on the bottle.
Here are a few more tips to help you.
- All dog shampoos that lather will kill fleas if left on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing. The shampoo lather kills the fleas by suffocating them.
- Medicated shampoos will only work if left on for more than 10 minutes before rinsing and used 2-3 times a week.
- Bathing in water that is too hot can cause your dog to be itchy after the bath.
- By not completely rinsing off the shampoo can also cause your dog to be itchy after bathing.
- No shampoo will eliminate itching, they only help to temporarily relieve the itchiness. You need to find the main cause of the problem.
- Never use shampoos made for people on your dog. Our PH balances are very different, shampoos made for people are more acidic and can dry out your dog’s skin.
- No matter what kind of shampoo you decide to buy you will still need to buy a tearless dog shampoo to clean their face.
- Adding fish oil to your dog’s diet will help to keep the skin from getting dry and flaky.
Ingredients you Should Avoid
- Artificial Fragrances
- Paraben preservatives
- Artificial colors
- Mineral oil
- Artificial dyes
- Sodium benzoate preservative
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
Consider your Dogs Needs
First thing to do is to check your dog’s skin. Any type of skin problem will result in a dull coat and excessive shedding. In order to have a healthy coat, your dog needs to have healthy skin. Shampoos alone may not be enough, always seek advice from your veterinarian. For example, dogs with allergies will also need to be on medications that work from the inside out along with a good hypoallergenic shampoo. There are many different types of skin problems your dog can get and it’s important to know the proper shampoo to use.
Dry Itchy Skin
Dry skin can be caused by many things such as allergies, climate, and diet. For dry skin, you want to look for a dog Shampoo with Oatmeal and Aloe as the main 2 ingredients. Oatmeal is known to be the best in relieving itchy dry skin. After shampooing use a conditioner with Colloidal Oatmeal for maximum relief.
Before you run out to look for a shampoo to help stop shedding find out the cause. Is it shedding season? Does your dog have a skin problem? Does your dog have fleas or ticks? Many things cause your dog to shed and the best way to control shedding is with regular brushing and bathing. Look for shampoos with omega fatty acids, Vitamins A, D, and E. These ingredients help to stimulate new hair growth while strengthening your dog’s coat.
If you notice flakes of skin on your dog’s coat it is probably Seborrhea. This is also referred to as Doggy Dandriff and can be treated with a Tar and Sulfa Shampoo. Look for a shampoo that contains Topical Coal Tar and Bio Sulfur. Also, finding a Tar and Sulfa Shampoo with some Aloe in it will be a big plus.
Does your dog have a bad odor? You need to find where the odor is coming from. For example, find out if the odor is coming from the ears, mouth or skin. Sometimes dogs just get into something stinky while other times it can be a serious problem that requires a visit to the vet. The best shampoo to eliminate odor is made with vegetable protein extracts.
Hot spots are sores that can be very irritating for your dog. Simply put, they hurt! If you notice a hot spot on your dog look for a shampoo that contains Australian Tea Tree oil along with a fungicide and an antibacterial like Manuka honey. To better treat the hot spot shave the hair from around the sore.
Sensitive Skin and Allergies
Some dogs are just more sensitive than others. Dogs with sensitive skin and allergies need to be bathed with a very mild shampoo. Dyes, detergents, and fragrances can cause a problem. Always avoid those ingredients. Look for shampoos that have Hyper Allergenic on the label, are soap-free and contain Aloe.
Yeast infection on your dog’s skin usually shows up between the pads of their paws and around the ears. Tea Tree Oil has been proven to work well for treating yeast infections on the skin. Look for a dog shampoo that contains Tea Tree Oil, Neem, an anti-inflammatory, and an antibacterial.
Oily Skin and Coat
An oily coat may be due to overactive sebaceous glands or maybe your dog just got into something oily. Look for a shampoo that contains Citrus Oil and Neem to help break down the body oils without drying your dogs skin.
Yellowing coat on white dogs
If you own a white dog you obviously want him/her to stay as white as possible. Over time you may notice that beautiful white hair is looking a bit on the yellow side. When looking for a whitening shampoo I can only think of one that actually works. It’s called White on White and contains no harsh chemicals or bleach. You will be amazed at the results.
Fleas and Ticks
Like I said above you can kill fleas by leaving the shampoo on for at least 10-15 minutes before rinsing. Then wait for at least 24 hours and apply a topical flea treatment like Advantage. If you will not be using a topical flea treatment then you will need to use a flea and tick shampoo that will repel insects. Look for shampoos that contain all-natural oils made from Peppermint, Cedarwood, Cloves, and Citrus. Also, you want a shampoo that will repel insects for at least 10 days.
If you own a puppy you want to use a mild shampoo that also has a no-tear formula. A puppy’s skin is very sensitive to many ingredients that some shampoos have. Always use an all-natural organic shampoo on your puppy and only use one that is labeled for puppies.
Dogs with long hair require more nutrients than short-haired dog do to keep their hair healthy. You want a shampoo that will strengthen the hairs and reduce splitting and breaking. Also, you want a shampoo that stimulates hair growth. Look for shampoos with Wheat Germ, Vitamin E, Egg Yolk, and Suma Root to help maintain a beautiful long coat.
Normal Skin and Coat
For regular weekly or monthly bathing, you want to use a shampoo that will maintain your dog’s skin and coat without drying it out. Always look for all Natural and Organic ingredients.
I hope this article helped you learn how to choose the best shampoo for your dog.
If you have any questions please leave me a comment.
Happy Dog Bathing,
Images courtesy of Pixabay.